August 30, 2005 8:57 AM PDT

Site allegedly exposes British secret agents

The U.K. Foreign Office is slamming an anti-secrecy activist who listed online alleged spies and secret agents.

New York-based activist John Young named 276 alleged MI6 agents--including former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown--on his Cryptome Web site over the weekend. The list claims Ashdown was an MI6 agent in Geneva in the 1970s.

John Young
Credit: Declan McCullagh
John Young
Cryptome's Webmaster

It is not the first time such information has been published on the Internet, and Foreign Office policy is to neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of such lists. But a Foreign Office representative slammed its publication for potentially putting lives in danger.

"It puts members of the intelligence community in the field at risk and also people who are just ordinary Foreign Office workers who may be named on the list," he told Silicon.com.

The representative acknowledged that the nature of the Internet would make it difficult to force the material to be taken down and said any such action would be a matter for the U.S. authorities.

Young publishes alleged top-secret documents on his Web site to reveal intelligence information that he believes is in the public interest.

"No court order has ever been served; any order served will be published here--or elsewhere if gagged by order," a note on his site says.

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.

12 comments

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What a...
Retard. Totally irresponsible.
Posted by (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
#1 is right
What an Ass***. You would think that this guy would respect one of our fellow countries. You know how upset the US Govt would be if he did that over here? He would be swimming with the fished as Tony Soprano says. haha
Posted by mayerjr (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A hostile act
Unless the published list is completely fabricated, this is a hostile act against the UK, no matter what free speech claims are made. The intent is to harm the British government, and that in a time of heightened terrorist threat. But perusing this man's web site, it is apparent that he is a fevered leftist who revels in poking his indignant finger (probably the middle one) into the eye of government, as well as other entities and persons that fan his flame of hatred. What a particularly sad individual.
Posted by Techno Guy (77 comments )
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Agreed (sort of)
Your comment about being leftist is quite clearly nothing more than conservative propaganda from a westerner terrified of socialism.
However, you're right on the fact that this person is a moron. He must be homicidal to put such a list on the internet, and as such, he should probably not only be arrested for treason, but the attempted murder of the 216 listed individuals.
Even if the list were fabricated, someone thinking it's real might attempt to harm the people so listed or their families.
Posted by (41 comments )
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Leftist vs. Socialist?
"Your comment about being leftist is quite clearly nothing more than conservative propaganda from a westerner terrified of socialism."

No, my comment about this individual being a leftist is correct; that is precisely what he is. However, since most leftists have at least some coloration of socialism in their complexion, this may be a distinction without a difference.

How you deduce that I am "a Westerner terrified of socialism" is clearly a projection on your part that has no basis in my earlier comments. The fact is, I am not terrified of socialism because I know it to be a failure. Its impotence is not to be feared, but merely brushed aside as a relic of the past, a historical curiosity.
Posted by Techno Guy (77 comments )
Link Flag
Take him out back and shoot him
Honestly. The world's better off without scum like this polluting society.

Who is he to decide what's in the public's perceived best interest?

Who is he to possibly pass a death sentence on the listed MI6 agents?

Countries need secrets, especially those of us in the crosshairs of terrorists. It would seem that this man is a terrorist himself if he's contented to publish in an open domain the identities of secret agents.

Shameful. Absolutely shameful.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Reckless Endangerment
Charge him with reckless endangerment, take down the site, and let the judiciary sort out the precedent.
Posted by Len Bullard (454 comments )
Link Flag
Simply Pathettic
Its pathetic and totally irresponsible that he's trying to undermine the security of the UK. I hope he finds the inside of a jail soon, and maybe gets himself a boyfriend named Bubba.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take away his citizenship....
And send him to a country where his information would be helpful. Then let him publish the names of agents there.
There is absolutely no good reason to do what he has done. Really the US should turn him over to MI6.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better Yet...
Instead of turning him over to MI6, put him in the same room with those he named.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
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